Lucy Boynton wants to break free from “jarring” claims that the film Bohemian Rhapsody, about legendary British rock band Queen, ignores the sexuality of frontman Freddie Mercury.
After the release of the movie’s first trailer in mid-May, critics were quick to point out that there was no footage of Malek with other men, despite the well-documented history of Mercury’s bisexuality.
Producer Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, American Gods), who is openly gay, chimed in as well, claiming the movie altogether shies away from that aspect of Mercury.
ANYONE ELSE MILDLY ANNOYED (enough to tweet about it) THAT THE #BohemianRapsody TRAILER FEATURES GAY/BI SUPERSTAR FREDDIE MERCURY FLIRTING WITH AND TWIRLING WITH A WOMAN BUT NO INDICATION OF HIS LOVE OF MEN?
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) May 15, 2018
Fuller accused the movie of intentionally focusing on Mercury’s heterosexual relationships, specifically with his longtime friend and ex-fiancée, Mary Austin (portrayed by Boynton), as shown for a few frames in the teaser trailer. Calling it “queer erasure,” Fuller said, “If they were out and proud with his bisexuality, they would have indicated he was bisexual.”
WATCH: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ actors become Queen on-screen
Boynton revealed her frustration regarding these claims in an interview with Digital Spy on Monday morning.
“It’s when people want to have something to criticize that is kind of jarring, especially because it does and the one thing that we’re so proud of with this film is that I don’t feel it ever steps over the line into any kind of exposé or intrusiveness,” she said.
“I don’t know what people wanted to see. They always ask about the darkness of Freddie and such, it’s a celebration and an ode to ,” she noted.
Boynton went on to say some “creative interpretation” was needed when recreating the pair’s relationship, because no one was present to share their intimate moments.
“It was a weird moment of trying to navigate the most beneficial way to portray it to give the most impact on the audience, but also what she would be comfortable about seeing now and what was true to the situation then,” Boynton said. “It’s a whole juggling act, it’s really terrifying.”
“It’s a shame that people are making remarks after a minute teaser where you just wanna see the music,” adding, “Let me say that I don’t think the film shies away from his sexuality or his all-consuming disease, which is obviously AIDS.”
Malek hinted at the importance of Queen’s music in the biopic. Mercury’s sexual orientation is not the focus of the band’s story — his personality, story and tragic death are.
“I don’t know how you could avoid any of that, or if anyone would ever want to. It’s a bit absurd that anyone’s judging this from a minute trailer,” he said.
Malek finished off by saying that this movie will paint a perfect portrait of the late Mercury. He urged fans of Queen and music in general to go see the film.
Lucky Canadians can pre-order tickets here for advanced Oct. 31 Cineplex screenings in select Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal theatres.
(Dressing up as Freddie Mercury is encouraged.)
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is scheduled for a Nov. 2 release in Canada.
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